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Garden Radio Round Up November 12 - 13

Showers and storms from Melbourne to Maroochydore this weekend and the garden just loves it.

Soft soil makes planting and weeding easier, and the cooler temps will help. Or just make a cuppa and enjoy the garden from inside. Whatever you're doing in the garden this weekend lets get things started.


Let's not be too hasty about turning the wellies into planters just yet.

It's Time To:

All over the east

Top up garden with 5-10cm of mulch. Acid-loving plants such as azaleas, gardenia, blueberries, strawberries, rhododendrons and natives will appreciate mulch made from cypress, pine or conifer trimmings.

Divide cymbidium orchids, leaving three green healthy bulbs and white roots. Cut off all brown roots and leaves. Repot into fresh cymbidium orchid bark, then place pots in the shade for summer.

Prevent azalea diseases by spraying with Confidor, Conquer or Maxguard.

Prevent rose pests and diseases with the all-in-one Yates Rose Gun. This product can also be used on other ornamental flowers.

Take hardwood cutting of hibiscus, oleander, rosemary, camellia and azalea.


When you have 10 minutes

Sprinkle basil seeds over top quality potting mix in a pot and place in a sunny spot outside the back door. Keep well-watered for a delicious supply of leaves well into next autumn. Basil leaves go with tomato, boccocini, prosciutto and pasta.

For more November jobs check out the full article.


Bush Garden

Scaevola aemula ‘Bondi White’

There are several white forms of this popular normally blue or mauve flowering native fan flower. ‘Bondi White’ seems to be the best selection producing pure white fan shaped flowers from late spring into summer and late summer.


Scaevola 'Bondi White'. Photo - Graham Ross


Its habit is upright to 15-25cm but will also spread 30-45cm or trail down 40cm if encouraged.

It is an ideal groundcover or specimen plant but also perfect in a hanging basket in light shade to full sun.

To obtain a carpeting effect plant each shrub 30cm apart.

Some wholesale nurseries list the Scaevolas as annuals but I’ve found ‘Bondi White’ to grow well over 12-18 months or more.

It requires regular feeding with a native plant fertiliser like Bush Tucker or Osmocote for Natives.

It also responds to fortnightly liquid feeding.



Lilly Pilly Scale and Pimple Psyllid Attack

Lilly Pilly’s are the most commonly planted privacy screens and hedges in Australia.

The cultivars or selections range from low growing shrubs to small trees and specimen trees and tall shrubs.

They are evergreen native plants generally seen as medium sized trees in the wild east coast Australian rainforests but have been hybridised and selected by nurserymen and plant enthusiasts in recent years to cover a wide range of growth habits including groundcovers, shrubs and small to medium sized trees.

Unfortunately many of the new selections are very susceptible to a range of insects including white wax scale and and pimple psyllids. The scale appears as large blobs of thick white wax covering and protecting the hidden insect inside while it sucks nutrients and energy out of the plant.

Psyllids initially attack new growth disfiguring them with blisters or pimples on the leaf surface reducing its ability to photosynthesise and produce food for the plant reducing its vigour and overall health. This can lead to a weakened, sickly plant.

Both scale and psyllids can generate a secondary disease called black sooty mould which further debilitates the plants.


Psyllid damage and scale on Lilly Pilly foliage. Photo - Graham Ross


Scale Control

Keeping the plants healthy and growing vigorously helps ward off insect attack. Keeping hedges and specimen trees well-watered and fertilised helps in this process.

Manuring and composting around the trees is also beneficial.

Sprays for scale

Horticultural oils like Pest Oil and Eco Oil are partly effective but need to be applied weekly to control the scale. White oil and paraffin oil should be avoided as they can burn the tender leaves.

In trials we have found by also applying Yates Confidor tablets around the base and watering in or alternatively sprinkling Richgro Bug Killa granules and watering in to help stop the insect and protecting the plants before attack.

Remember for safety and as a precaution you should not to use these systemic insecticides on edible crops and when bees are foraging.

The best protection is to select psyllid resistant varieties of lilly pilly in every situation.


Garden News

Number 1 again!

Macquarie Media, owners of 2GB, presented announcers, broadcasters and technical staff with beautiful, individually engraved glass crystal awards celebrating 100 consecutive No. 1 ratings in radio surveys.

The team at the Garden Clinic show thank our faithful listeners for continuing to listen to us and all the programs on the highest rating station in Sydney.


The beautiful engraved glass crystal awards presented to us to celebrate 100 consecutive No. 1 ratings in radio surveys


Australis 2020

American garden guru, Bob Rodale once said that “In almost every garden, the land is made better and so is the gardener,” a view shared by my guest today, Mr Steven Haggart from australia’s International Garden Festival Bid team, Australis 2020.

Australis is a 6-month World Garden Expo to be held in Australia for the first time ever. Comparable to Brisbane’s Expo88, it will become both an enduring Ecotourism attraction and a catalyst for future urban developments. Like many of the world’s greatest gardens, it will leave a long term legacy, long after the initial event has run its course.

The international body in charge, the BYE, has approved Australia to run the festival, and if the bid is successful it will run in 2020 at a site yet to be chosen. Australis 2020 are currently assessing sites around Australia in 14 locations. There is lots of interest in Qld, but NSW has made an approach over the last 3 months.


Australis 2020 concept design. See more at their website,

The Australis 2020 vision is to create a long term Ecotourism and Educational Asset for Australia, the legacy outcome of the first 6 month International Garden Festival ever to be held in the Southern Hemisphere.

The expo is planned to coincide with the 250th anniversary of Captain Cook’s ‘voyage of discovery’ in 1770 when botanist Joseph Banks first charted the botanical wonders of Australia’s east coast, from Port Botany to Cooktown.

The main event of a year-long series of festivities planned by the Federal Government, Australis, is proposed to open at Easter 2020 and close at the end of the October long weekend - a 186 day festival of events and entertainment.

Ten times bigger than the Olympics, longer and leaving a permanent legacy, Australis 2020 expects to attract 4-5 million visitors, over 1 million room nights, around $1 billion in revenue and countless employment opportunities in construction, horticulture and hospitality.



Come away with us

Gardens of Canada Coast to Coast

Canada is just brilliant. From vibrant Butchart Gardens on Vancouver Island in the west to Quebec in the east, this grand tour across Canada is timed for high summer when flower borders reach their peak and snow melt swells the rivers. Stay in Vancouver, Victoria, Montreal, Toronto, Niagara Falls and Quebec City. Spectacular scenery!

Join Michael McCoy on this fantastic tour when the gardens are at their best. To book your seat, or to enquire about any of our tours contact Royce or Roslyn on 1300 233 200, email us at, or visit


Beautiful Butchard garden in British Columbia, Canada


Who is the greatest living conservationist in Australia?

Meet: Mary White, conservationist and author

First published by Australian Geographic, October 6, 2010

Mary White has had an affinity for nature since birth. After growing up in Southern Rhodesia, she completed a master's degree in palaeo-botany at the University of Cape Town, South Africa. Her interest in the botany of Africa led her to travel extensively and live in the wild with her geologist husband and young children. These experiences provided her with an excellent understanding of the plants that grow in the southern continent.


Meet Mary White, conservationist and author


The White family migrated to Australia in 1955, where Mary became a consultant to the Bureau of Mineral Resources in Canberra, a position she held until the mid 1980s. During this time she also worked part-time as a consultant to mining companies while raising her five children. From 1975, she was employed as a research associate by the Australian Museum in Sydney. One of her achievements in this role was to establish a fully documented plant fossil collection of 12,000 specimens, and she has written numerous scientific papers about the discoveries she made while putting the collection together.


While she was working on the plant fossil record, it became clear to her there was no literature available about the evolution of flora in the ancient continent of Gondwana. This discovery inspired her to write The Greening of Gondwana (first published in 1986 by Reed Books; third edition published by Kangaroo Press/Simon & Schuster in June 1998).


The Greening of Gondwana by Mary White


Since 1984, Mary White has been a full-time writer and lecturer. In this role, she has the opportunity to present her interests in the prehistoric world and the evolution of the Australian continent and its biota.


Her four books: The Greening of Gondwana, After the Greening, Listen...Our Land is Crying, and Running Down: Water in a Changing Land, form a four-part saga that provides insight into why much of the current land and water use in Australia is unsustainable. After The Greening won the Eureka Prize in 1994 and Running Down was short-listed for the same prize in 2001.


After the Greening by Mary White


Running Down by Mary White


Listen. Our Land Is Crying, by Mary White


In 1995, Macquarie University granted Mary White a Doctor of Science in recognition of her contributions to science. In 1999, the Queensland University of Technology granted her a Doctor of the University, and she received the Riversleigh Medal for "excellence in promoting understanding of Australian prehistory".

In 2003, Mary moved from Sydney to a property called the Falls Forest Retreat, NSW. She secured 200 acres of land in an effort to covenant its forests and protect its biodiversity.


The Nature of Hidden Worlds, by Mary White


Earth Alive! by Mary White


Reading the Rocks, by Mary White


"I'm deeeply humbled and honoured to receive the lifetime of conservation award. Everything is interconnected and we must find an accept the place of humans in the overall scheme of things. It is fundamental to the problems that we have today."